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Otaku on Pokemon
Pokémon Top 10 of 2010
January 11, 2011

As an added “treat”, here is the top 10 list I submitted (after removing Double Colorless Energy from the number one slot).  Clearly it is shaped by my unusual playing situation (mostly on-line against select people) and my desire not to just base the list on successful play but on what I thought was interesting mechanics.  Given that such a list perhaps misses the point, I am certainly glad the final list was a collaborative effort:


01) Twins (HS - Triumphant)
02) Seeker (HS - Triumphant)

03) Judge (HS - Unleashed)
04) Donphan "Prime" (HGSS)
05) Machamp "Prime" (HS - Triumphant)
06) Feraligatr "Prime" (HGSS)
07) Vileplume (HS - Undaunted)
08) Junk Arm (HS - Triumphant)
09) Professor Oak's New Theory
10) Pokémon LEGEND


Below is why each card made the list, though I will add that I designed my list late and so I had to hurry.  I might spend an hour on a CotD, sometimes upwards of three writing and re-writing it… the first list I cranked out in between five and fifteen minutes, and revised it in about as much time.  So the whole thing took between 10 and 30 minutes for me to do.  I freely admit that if I were to revise the list again, besides changing some choices most would see their placement vary.


Twins really impressed me, probably because I do so love the “come from behind” mechanic.  Those that know and played me shouldn’t be surprised: I loved Team Rocket decks when the Team Rocket Returns set was Modified legal, and even will attempt to run them in Unlimited play.  I also played Liability deck variants all the Modified formats where it was legal.  You can see the rest of the Card of the Day staffs’ thoughts on the card here.


Seeker should need no further explanation.  Please just check it out here, in the staff’s Top 10 of 2010 reviews.  The only questionable part is that I placed it above Twins.


Judge is likewise explained well in the staff’s Top 10 of 2010 review here.  I wonder if it should have rated higher on my list as I feel it can rival Seeker and Twins in its usefulness, and easily beats out the Pokémon on the list.


This Pokémon “block” is where I feel I was the most off.  Donphan Prime and Vileplume both had a significant impact on the game, but in different ways.  Donphan Prime is odd in that he had both a blatant impact (being a strong OTKO deck) as well as a more subtle (redefining how we evaluated Energy-to-attack and Stage 1 Pokémon).  Vileplume simply has become a card with many potential dance partners, though Gengar seems to be in the lead.  You can get more information about Donphan here and about Vileplume here.  Machamp and Feraligatr were good cards, but they weren’t exactly bold and innovative nor did they re-define the metagame.  You can see our initial impressions of those cards here and here.


Junk Arm is sort of a stand in.  First it is a slightly toned down reprint of an older card (Item Finder) and second it almost acts as a stand-in for Gyarados from Stormfront (which wasn’t released this year and as such was ineligible for the list).  I would have put it a little higher, but not much.  You can read more on it here.  I surprised no one else mentioned Vs Seeker with it: the combo makes it almost as versatile as Item Finder!


Professor Oak’s New Theory was included primarily to show power creep: the old standard (Professor Oak’s Research) is supplanted by a card that does the exact same thing only one card better!  Alas there are no current reviews for Professor Oak’s New Theory but you can get a dated view of it here: only Baby Mario got a review in for it.


For the number 10 slot, while no Pokémon LEGEND cards were especially stellar, it is an important new game mechanic and I expect at least one to rise to prominence in the next format.  Plus we even have some interesting new mechanics besides being a LEGEND from them, like placing more Prize cards for your opponent! 


I have to agree that Pokémon Collector and Pokémon Communication both deserved to be on here, and given my own goal of highlighting interesting new cards and being a bit diverse in what kind of cards I selected (I was tempted to submit a list even more dominated by Trainers and Supporters) I should have made room for Rescue Energy as well.  I’d probably cut Feraligatr, Machamp, and Professor Oak’s New Theory as they were mostly there to show power creep.  The order would also have to be adjusted.


So this was my top 10 list.


Have a great weekend!






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